posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 03:22 PM
My situation is a bit different, but if I may, I'd like to offer up some advice/experience.
I have a 15 year-old boy who is high-functioning Asperger's. He is VERY intelligent (scary smart at times) and is interested in World War II. Which
means that the kid has read and memorized every aspect of the subject. I think he could teach a college history professor a thing or two. He
struggles to write, even his signature. His coordination has always been horrible. And we all know what happens to the kid who can't run or kick
like everyone else. He is terrified of people. It almost does him in to even go to the grocery store. But it seems to be kids (not babies or small
children, but kids closer to his age) that scare him. I don't know if this is the disorder or because of the treatment he got in public school.
Because of an illness, we started homeschooling him in the fifth grade and we now homeschool all of our children. He doesn't have near the
interaction with people that our other children do, but he socializes within his comfort zone. And I'm fine with that.
When he was in public school he did occupational therapy which I think helped some. But there became a point when there was no more improvement. As
he got older, his coordination with sports and activities improved somewhat. However, his handwriting is still awful. So he has typing for one of
his classes. So much in the adult world is done on computer anymore, that I don't think it'll be a problem.
It sounds like you are doing your research, which is the best thing you can do. Research everything...medical, educational, social, etc. If you are
going to place your child in public school, I suggest you research special education laws. We had so many problems with the school and he wasn't
even in special ed classes, just occupational therapy. A lot of schools don't realize what they are required to do. They don't educate themselves
on their responsibilities, so you need to. Seek the help of a parent advocate. They've been through this and know what the laws are and what help
The best and most important piece of advice I can give you is follow your instincts. YOU know your child. There were several times my gut told me
different than what the doctor, specialist or teacher was telling me. I learned to listen to my gut, but only after making some mistakes because I
listened to the other person. Docs can be wrong. If you don't agree, find someone else. And keep going until you get someone who will listen and
you feel comfortable with. I've pissed people off more than once, just because of a gut feeling and no other good reason. And I was glad I did.
You are the only one who can be an advocate for your child.
Teasing....I don't have any good answers for that one. I wish I had started homeschooling earlier. I think things would be so much different now.
I believe school was pure torture for him. I found out later that the teachers were almost as bad as the kids. Not an environment anybody should
have to endure. One thing I found that helps is being upfront with classmates. Explain to them, in terms they can understand, what autism is. For
my son, we had a “Hearing Aid Party” in first grade when he got his hearing aids. We made a celebration out of it. Everyone got a snack and I
talked to the class about his aids. It was turned into a positive thing.
Support your child's interests. Like I said, WWII is my son's thing. We buy him books, videos, models, whatever to encourage his hobby. I'm
excited to see where this might lead him in the future.
You might want to check out the Munroe Meyer website. They are in Nebraska and do leading research and therapy with autism and other disorders.
(Sorry, I usually just read and don't post, so I'm not sure how to link)
Good luck. There will be rough times, but that's with every kid, not just autistic ones. And those accomplishments are so much sweeter when you
know how much work went into them.